Back-to-school anxiety is normal and understandable.
Many kids may feel anxious about going back to school after a long summer break. Others may feel nervous about starting school for the first time.
Regardless of what the case may be, parents can help ease the transition back to school by being able to recognize the symptoms of stress and anxiety and implementing some creative strategies.
Reasons Kids Might Be Stressed or Anxious
- COVID-Related Concerns – Even as many parts of life are opening up and returning to “normal,” kids may still be harboring fears and anxiety, and uncertainty as they struggle to come to terms with the continued experience of living through the pandemic.
- Concerns About Friends, and Bullies – One of the things that can cause back-to-school anxiety for kids is not knowing what to expect.
Tips for Dealing With Stress and Anxiety
Foster Familiarity – Take the time to help your child prepare for how things might be different.Help them become more acclimated to new routines and unfamiliar surroundings by talking through what they might expect to see. Allow them to ask questions and answer them honestly.
Be Positive – Remind your kids what they can look forward to about school, such as time with friends, the playground, gym class, art class, or visits to the library.
Assure Them They Aren’t Alone – If your child is concerned about reconnecting with friends they haven’t seen in months, arrange some playdates. Helping your children reconnect with old friends or strengthen bonds with new ones not only reduces anxiety and stress but also can help your child start the year off on the right foot.
Make an Effort to Be Present – As your child transitions back to school, make every effort to be there for them, especially during the first few weeks.
Promote Healthy Living – Getting adequate sleep and eating healthy food, especially a balanced breakfast, is important for brain function, mood, and the ability to focus and pay attention in school.
The key to supporting your kids when they are stressed or anxious about the upcoming school year is to be there for them. Listen to their concerns without minimizing their feelings or trying to fix the situation. Allow them the space to process their feelings without judgment. With the right help and treatment, your child can learn to manage their stress and anxiety.